Thursday, March 6th, 2014
Joe DeProspero has two sons, a wife, and is complimentary birth control for anyone who sits near him in a restaurant. His writing has been described as “outrageous,” “painfully real,” and “downright humiliating.” He talks about the highs and unsettling lows of parenthood. Author of the dark comedy fiction novel “The Boy in the Wrinkled Shirt,” Joe is working on releasing a parenting humor book. He currently lives in New Jersey and can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or followed on Twitter @JoeDeProspero.
It truly is remarkable how many atrocious acts children are able to get away with, under the guise of “they’re only kids.” And frankly, I don’t think it’s fair that age should determine social etiquette. I mean, do these cretins think they’re above the law? Anyway, here is a series of infractions where I think kids (and even babies) need to mind their manners and shape up!
Blatantly throwing food on the floor
Seriously? There’s a ball right there in your hand. Throw that instead! And it’s not like macaroni and cheese even makes a satisfying noise when it hits a tile floor. I see no logic behind this senseless, selfish act. Adults could never do this as there’d be no one to clean it up.
Touching someone else for no reason
This is something that kids do without consequence until they’re about 17. Babies, toddlers, and adolescents alike have been touching people’s butts and faces for centuries without a care in the world. Adults would definitely not be able to get away with this sober.
Saying dinner is “gross”
My son often tells my wife that the dinner she prepared is “gross” or “yucky.” However, when I say the same exact thing? Suddenly it’s this major issue. Adults clearly cannot get away with blatantly insulting a chef/spouse to his or her face.
Throwing a tantrum in the mall
It seems like kids save their absolute worst, most uncontainable fits for when you’re trekking through a department store with 12 bags, a stroller, four jackets, and zero patience. But imagine an adult acting in such a manner. You bring a sale item to the register, only to discover that item is now full price. So you start convulsing on the floor and knocking down clothes racks. You would probably be banned from the mall. But if your kid did the same thing, everyone would have a hearty chuckle and go on with their day. Fair?
You’re a child, not George “The Animal” Steele. I mean, really.
Staring at boobs
If there ever were an activity that yielded either giggles or unrivaled anger, depending on the age of the perpetrator, it’s this. The rule seems to go: If you’re three, more breasts for thee. If you’re 38, here comes the hate.
Opening someone else’s gifts
We’ve all seen this. Little Emma is perfectly capable of tearing wrapping paper on her own, but Dylan is blind to that fact, callously pushing her out of the way to open a present that’s not even his! Try doing this beyond the age of 10 and suddenly, no one wants you involved in their Secret Santa.
Refusing to get dressed
Has your kid ever insisted on staying in their pajamas when you need to be out the door to get him to school so you can be on time for an important meeting? If you said “no,” then your kid is probably in utero. Every child over the age of 18 months suddenly gets very specific about when and by whom they’d like to be dressed. Such Prima donnas. Then they demand exactly 2 ½ strawberries and ¾ glass of milk with their cereal. It’s like dealing with a self-important Hollywood starlet in diapers.
Climbing on countertops/tables
Kids are like mini, drunk adults when they’re misbehaving. No clearer example of this is their constant decision to do their impression of any and every four-legged animal on the dining room table. I tried being “cute” once and joined in. My head smashed into the hanging light fixture, my knees ached, and the looks on the faces of the other people at Outback Steakhouse were definitely not encouraging.
Crying when barely injured
My 4-year-old stubbed his toe on his dresser the other day and wailed like he’d been set on fire. Incidentally, that very same dresser nearly brought me to tears a few years earlier (when I had to pay for it). But sometimes I think he’s exaggerating. There are times when he cries because his socks are too tight. He’ll make a terrific professional wrestler. Or a LeBron James.
You hear the term “double standard” thrown around quite often. But rarely is anything ever done to change it. All I’m asking is that we hold these children accountable for their butt-touching, food-throwing, gift-ruining ways. Then, and only then, will there be justice, and clean floors.
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